BA (Hons) Education, Culture & Society

This degree will develop your knowledge of the education system in the UK and beyond. You'll enter into key debates about policy issues with a focus on social justice and equality, and understand education from a multidisciplinary perspective.

UCAS
X390
Course length
3 years full-time or up to 9 years part-time.
Entry requirements
A-level: BBC
BTEC: DMM
IB: 32 points
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including a number of distinctions/merits in subject specific modules
or equivalent; see find out more about our general entrance requirements.
We welcome applications from candidates with non-traditional routes.
Fees and funding
Please see undergraduate tuition fees.
Contact the department
Contact the Admissions Tutor, Anna Carlile.
Visit us
Find out about how you can visit Goldsmiths at one of our open days or come on a campus tour.

Why study BA Education, Culture & Society at Goldsmiths?

  • We offer you the opportunity to take up accredited placements at a range of organisations involving anything from working on literacy with Bengali women or supporting year 3 students with SEN at a primary school to developing educational materials at a city farm or putting together an art exhibition at a pupil referral unit for excluded secondary school students. Through these placements we help you both develop your own future career and make a positive impact on your local community.
  • Do you already work in an education or community setting? We work with you so that you can use this as key information to inform your studies. For their assignments, past students have interviewed young people they have been supporting and have created resources for children with special educational needs from countries where they have connections, such as Ghana and Slovakia.
  • You'll develop an understanding of the role of education in diverse societies in the UK and beyond
  • You'll be taught by staff who are experts in their field
  • Our teaching is informed by a commitment to social justice and inclusion, which is reflected in our diverse study body
  • You'll have the chance to study abroad for one term in China or Luxembourg
  • We offer support for your personal and career development through our personal progress programme, supported by staff in the department and the College, through tutorials and workshops which will help you to reflect on your personal, academic and employment goals and support you in developing your communication skills
  • Education Studies at Goldsmiths achieved a high score of 90% for teaching and 90% overall satisfaction in the 2013 National Student Survey (NSS)
  • We encourage discussion, debate and critical reflection, and will help you relate theory to real-life experiences

What you study

The programme is designed to promote understanding and critical reflection on the role of education in diverse societies and how the system continues to be shaped by social, political and economic factors. There is an emphasis on what counts as knowledge; the interrelationship between education, the individual and society and the tensions that can arise in a system that advocates education for all but mediates against the full participation of some groups. We think this emphasis on inclusion is a unique quality of the degree and a sound preparation for employment in this area. 

We are also proud of the strong creativity strand that permeates the programme and reflects our expertise in visual and performing arts. If you are interested in employment in the creative industries, with a focus on education, this is the degree for you.

See some of our second and third year students' exhibited work.

Student work

 
 
 

Video: Click to play

Pa, pa, l'Americano
A music video made by a group of first year students.

 
 
 

Video: Click to play

Parallel Lives
This film was made by a group of first year students and establishes a significant tension in opposition to most mainstream movies' tendency to portray 'winners', or people who are successful.


Equivalent qualifications

Scottish qualifications: BBBCC (Higher), BCC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 73%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A2 A2 A2 B1

Modules and structure

Your pathway through the degree is individually designed, offering you the opportunity to create combinations that match your interests and/or intended career route. You take part in seminars, lectures, tutorials, studio practice, performances and personal research.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Assessment

The Department of Educational Studies acknowledges that we learn in different ways and that assessments need to reflect this, so you'll be assessed through a combination of essays, examinations, written assignments, exhibitions, presentations (including multimedia), reports, practice-based assessments and dissertation.

 


Level 4

In the first year you take four core modules that will introduce you to the interaction between:

  • identity and culture
  • learning and thinking
  • creativity and learning
  • historical and philosophical perspectives on education

These module-units introduce you to key concepts in relation to the psychology, sociology, history and philosophy of education and provide the foundation for selecting options offered in the second year. In Year 1 there is also a study skills module that is integrated across the four core units. It is designed to support the development of the skills you need to be a successful student at university level.

Code Module title Credits
tbc Culture and Identity tbc

A central question to think about throughout the module is: in the modern global world that we are a part of, how do we negotiate our own identities as we cross geographical, political, social and psychological borders? Other aspects of identity are traced through important ideas and forces which shape our sense of self, specifically, the family, childhood and adolescence, citizenship, globalisation and schooling, social class, gender, race and language. 

Assessment:
 essay

tbc Learning and Thinking tbc

You're introduced to the central concepts of learning and thinking and the theorists who have constructed the role of the learner, the teacher and the community in different ways. These key theories of learning offer an introduction to key debates around cognition, which have great significance for education. 

Assessment:
 essay

tbc Creativity and Learning tbc

An introductory exploration of the creative process and learning. The module combines theory with a focus on the experience of creative practice in a range of contexts. These include the art studio, computer lab and performance space. You explore a range of traditional and new technologies. 

Assessment:
 portfolio and presentation

tbc The Curriculum: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives tbc

You examine how the curriculum is a means to educating the type of person society deems desirable. It explores how this has changed over time and how it varies in different societies today. The philosophical issues underpinning these differences are explored. You're encouraged to reflect on what education is and what it means to be educated in a democratic society.

Assessment: exam (seen paper)


Level 5

For the second year you choose a combination of three modules from the options outlined below. These are likely to be informed by both your interests and intended career paths. In addition all students follow a compulsory unit on research in Education which prepares you both to read and evaluate educational research and to conduct a small research project of your own. All Level 5 options build upon and further explore the issues raised in Level 4 modules. Please note that options are regularly reviewed and new modules developed.

Code Module title Credits
tbc Introduction to Research in Education tbc

You'll be introduced to qualitative research methods and how they are used in education. We'll explore how qualitative research is understood in the education context and how it differs from quantitative methods. This will involve considering the sorts of things that can be understood through qualitative research and how we can go about researching them.

Assessment: report and research proposal

tbc Changing Ethnicities tbc

You explore what is meant by the term ethnicity, and how it differs from race and culture. You'll consider the historical roots of notions of race and ethnicity; what role language and religion play in maintaining an ethnic identity, and how gender and social class intersect with ethnicity. The module will look at hybrid identities and what they tell us about notions of ethnicity as fixed and unchanging. Moving into the world of education policy and schooling,you will consider the impact that ethnicity has on both teachers’ and young people’s experience of schooling, in terms of curriculum content, achievement and teacher-pupil relationships.

Assessment:
 essay

tbc Comparative Education tbc

You examine education in different countries by using data and insights drawn from different contexts. You'll review the impact of globalisation on education systems and across nation states, with consideration of their history and present socioeconomic and political structure. A comparative approach to educational paradoxes and incompatibilities will be adopted, centred on ‘equality of opportunities’: centralisation versus decentralisation, collectivism versus individualism and uniformity versus diversity. 

Assessment: essay

tbc Culture and the Construction of Identity tbc

You'll discuss how children and young people develop and construct their identities within the various communities that they are part of. We will look at the importance of gender, ‘race’/ethnicity, language, religion, social class and sexuality in relation to this. You'll also explore the processes of identity construction in relation to educational policy and practice.

Assessment:
 essay

tbc Early Childhood in a Diverse Society tbc

You explore key ideas and issues in the area of young children’s learning, with special reference to the cultural contexts of that learning. You consider the impact of such ideas and issues on curriculum and policy development and become familiar with techniques for, and approaches to, observing and analysing young children’s learning. This includes a consideration of: the care and development of young children in diverse settings; cross cultural perspectives on children’s learning; the concept of childhood and its impact on policy development. Visits are taken to observe young children in different settings. 

Assessment: 
essay and report

tbc An Introduction to the Teaching and Learning of English as a Foreign Language tbc

You explore the link between language and identity in both individual and cultural contexts. This module-unit explores the assumptions behind learning and teaching English as a further language. It also considers the practical teaching strategies involved in this process and uses workshops and microteaching as part of this. 

Assessment:
 essay

tbc Knowledge and Power tbc

You explore the ‘knowledge and power’ relationship within different societies and the philosophies that have been used to support and challenge the structures created from this interaction. The nature of knowledge itself is explored while the role of the ‘gatekeeper’ in determining both status and access to different forms of knowledge is examined. The role of organised and informal educational bodies in this process is considered. 

Assessment: essays

tbc Language and Literacy in the Early Years tbc

You consider how young children’s language develops in a range of contexts, and examine literacy as a socially constructed phenomenon. You have the opportunity to consider how theoretical understandings of language and literacy development have influenced educational policy. This is achieved through an examination and exploration of the nature of language, language diversity; children’s literature, literacy and learning and educational policy developments. You will also have the opportunity to visit an early years setting to enable you to relate theory to practice. 

Assessment: essay and report.

tbc Multilingualism tbc

You'll consider psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, and educational aspects of multilingualism and have the opportunity to engage critically with the theory and current debates in the field. We will ask questions about the nature and origin of language and we will focus on language as an expression and marker of nation, culture and identity. We'll analyse dominant discourses about individual and societal multilingualism and you will have the opportunity to compare these with your own experiences and perceptions asking questions about multilingualism as a problem or an advantage for the individual and for society. 

Assessment: essay

tbc New Media Technologies and Learning tbc

You consider the permeation of New Media Technologies in a range of educational contexts encompassing settings both in and out of school, formally and informally constructed. You engage critically with recent debates about pedagogy and new technology inside and outside formal educational structures. The module-unit considers the potential for new technology to contribute to the learning and assessment process. You are encouraged to create an electronic portfolio or online reflective account, which demonstrates your understanding of the nature of learning with IT tools and resources. The concept of what it means to be 'information literate' will be examined in the context of the permeation of new media technologies in all aspects of life. 

Assessment: multimedia presentation

tbc Performing Arts in the Community tbc

You explore the significance of the performing arts as a powerful medium of communication within and between communities. This is critically considered from the perspective of practitioner and audience. You examine the importance of cultural context and the places and spaces in which performing arts happen. The module-unit enables you to interrogate the role of the performing arts in inclusive educational practice and as a means of empowerment to marginalised groups and communities. You are required to undertake a performance project (for example, the creation of a video) which provides opportunities for the development of technical and evaluative skills, engagement in a creative process and a vehicle for communicating insights and understanding developed through the module-unit.
 
Assessment: report and performance project

tbc Studies in Inclusion and Exclusion tbc

You will consider case studies, narratives and life stories to illustrate the meaning behind the theory and policy of inclusion and exclusion. The module will focus on the experiences of young people in relation to issues such as refugees and asylum seekers, those concerned with issues of faith and religion, language and plurilingualism, gender and sexuality, and neurocognitive aspects such as Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome and Tourette’s syndrome and anti-social behaviour policy and the youth justice system. 

Assessment: development of a written case study

tbc Visual Arts Practice in Education and Community Settings tbc

You'll have the opportunity to combine theoretical perspectives on culture, learning, access and participation with opportunities to explore creative processes that could be used in arts and educational settings. Personal creative and practical work will be developed through a series of extended studio workshops where you will be challenged to develop your own creative skills, subject knowledge and understanding of visual art and reflect on traditional and contemporary arts practices.

Assessment: essay and sketchbook/process diary


Level 6

At Level 6 you study two further advanced modules and undertake a dissertation. You determine the focus for your dissertation in collaboration with an allocated dissertation tutor. The dissertation offers you the opportunity to work with a leading academic on a one-to-one basis and the possibility of making links with a sector you intend to work within once you've graduated. A short research methods module will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to undertake the dissertation confidently.

A distinctive element of the third year is the opportunity to spend time studying abroad. Goldsmiths has close links with a number of universities with which it undertakes student exchanges.

Please note: certain Level 6 options require a specific module-unit to have been taken in Level 5. This will be explained in detail before choices are made. New modules are developed in response to changing contexts.

Code Module title Credits
tbc Dissertation tbc

The aim of this module-unit is to undertake a smallscale research project. This includes drawing up a proposal, data collection and analysis, and the writing of an 8,000-word dissertation to present the findings in an academically rigorous form. The choice of topic for your dissertation will reflect the individual option choices you made in Year 2. These may be influenced by your proposed exit route and intended career path. A series of sessions on research methodology is aimed to equip you with the necessary framework for carrying out your research. 

Assessment: 8,000-word dissertation

tbc Debates in Primary Education tbc

You'll be introduced to the main organisational elements of the primary school, how children’s learning is organised and assessed, the ways in which primary schools are managed and how children’s families and communities are involved in their learning. You'll be encouraged to critically analyse some of the structures in place in primary schools and reflect upon whether schools are meeting the needs of the diverse range of pupils and families they serve. This module also involves visits to primary schools.

Assessment: report and essay

tbc Educational Policy in Europe tbc

You'll consider contemporary issues including: What is the policy model that is shaping education in almost all European countries? Why is education a centre of social conflict in so many European countries? It will also involve looking at questions of culture and society (migration, religion, racism).

Assessment: essay

tbc Educational Policy in the UK tbc

You'll look at key issues in educational policy such as the privatisation of education; the standards agenda and how it shapes the work of schools; equality and inequality and how new patterns of education provision affect access and attainment among social groups which, historically, have not been successful in the school and university system. 

Assessment: essay

tbc Explorations in Gender & Culture tbc

You'll examine the different ways in which gender is understood theoretically, and how these interpretations are reflected in how people live their lives. Specifically, we will consider how gender operates as a central aspect of identity, and look at masculinities and femininities in relation to this. We will also look at aspects of gender and schooling, including the gender-marking of school subjects, how boys and girls are seen by teachers, and gender issues in achievement. Finally, we'll look at how gender is presented in the media, and how young men and women’s identities are constructed through new media such as Facebook.

Assessment: essay

tbc International Perspectives on Early Childhood tbc

You explore the developing range of provision for under-eights, and the divergence in provision between the regions of the UK. The module-unit will also explore the different curriculum approaches and types of provision for under-eights in Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand and the North America. The module will evaluate critically the reliability, validity and significance of instruments designed as measures of quality in international studies of early childhood services. You'll be able to reflect on the impact of theory and practice on the provision of services for under-eights in a range of contexts, and to make an informed argument for a set of guiding principles for provision for under-eights in one country within or outside the UK. 

Assessment: essay

tbc Re-imagining Social Class and Education tbc

You'll look afresh at the role of social class in education at a time in which the refrain ‘class no longer matters’ is often heard within mainstream media and from politicians. Changes to Western society brought about by globalisation and post-industrialisation have, it is claimed, greatly increased the significance of identities organised around religion, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, and even leisure and consumption, at the expense of social class. But does arguing the continued importance of life chances linked to social location require a jettisoning of these other categories of social identity? This module therefore argues for a renewed attention to the significance of social class in education in our era.

Assessment: essay

tbc Theoretical and Practical Aspects of SEN tbc

You'll consider theoretical and historical explorations of SEN (special educational needs). From a starting point which challenges the deficit model, the module introduces you to a range of SEN, including Asperger’s Syndrome, dyslexia, hearing impairment and Tourette’s Syndrome. Appropriate supportive resources for each SEN are also investigated. The remainder of the module focuses on SEN in global cultural contexts, drawing on approaches found in Kenya, Turkey and China, amongst others.

Assessment: construction of an educational resource and theoretical justification

tbc Visual Arts: Studio Practice tbc

You'll develop your knowledge of visual arts through first hand experience of practice. You'll also gain confidence in negotiating the creative process and developing your identity and self-confidence as an artist within the social context of studio practice. There will be a balance between developing your role as a critical and cultural commentator and an artist working at your own level. 

Assessment: essay and sketchbook/process diary

tbc Study Abroad in China or Luxembourg tbc

You have the option of studying abroad in the Autumn term at the University of Fujian in China or the University of Luxembourg. Both modules have been designed to enable you to reflect on how the three major elements of the degree, ‘education’, ‘culture’ and ‘society’ can be interpreted when studying in a new cultural, educational and linguistic context. An introductory module in Mandarin is available for students going to China.

Assessment: essay based on a personal journal kept during the visit

Learning and teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.

Additional costs

We produce reading packs electronically and in hard copy format. There’s a small charge for the hard copy reading packs. You may also be asked to contribute towards trips and some materials for your modules.

Skills and careers

Skills

This programme helps you develop:

  • analytical and critical thinking skills
  • the ability to synthesise and distil information and communicate ideas in writing and other media
  • presentation skills
  • interpersonal communicative attributes
  • the ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • expertise in carrying out personal research and working to deadlines

Careers

The knowledge, understanding and skills you can develop on this degree are transferable to a range of professions such as:

  • primary school teaching
  • working in the creative industries
  • youth and community work
  • social work
  • educational administration
  • other areas that require a specialist knowledge of education, such as charities and the leisure industries

If you are considering primary teaching, you will need to combine your degree with a one-year PGCE. Successful completion of the BA (Hons) Education, Culture and Society guarantees you an interview for Goldsmiths’ highly regarded PGCE Primary programme, provided you meet current government requirements.


About the Department

The Department of Educational Studies

There’s a whole world outside the classroom.

Educational Studies isn’t just about teaching and learning. At Goldsmiths it’s exploratory and expansive. We see education as a window on which to view the world, and as something with the power to define who we are and how we live.

As a Department we’re interested in seeing what education can tell us about the social, political and economic forces of our times and what these forces mean for the everyday lives of individuals and groups at different levels of society. It’s why our research delves into areas including culture and identity, gender, multilingualism, and youth cultures, and why we maintain a commitment to social justice and inclusion.

We have a strong pedigree in teaching practice – we’ve been training teachers since 1904 – and have gained recognition from Ofsted for our ‘outstanding contribution’ to widening participation in Initial Teacher Education. This means that as a student here you have the chance to start or continue your studies into primary and secondary teaching including PGCE through a range of routes.

At Goldsmiths we encourage you to be reflective in your learning so you can explore education not just from afar but in relation to your own experience. So you’ll be able to take part in the kinds of conversations that inform group learning – you may even be looking at research that’s affected your own life. And we also draw on our strength within the visual arts, embedding creative strands through many of our courses.

Why choose Educational Studies at Goldsmiths?

We’re interactive. And we never stop learning from each other. Come and inform our teaching and practice by drawing on your own experience and learn from many different perspectives in small class seminars and discussions. Visiting guest speakers range from Grayson Perry to Shami Chakrabarti.

We’re inclusive. It’s the diversity of our community that makes us distinctive. Whatever your background or educational experience we make sure you gain the support you need through an approachable team of expert staff so you’ll never feel like you’re just a number.

We’re engaged. Our connections with schools and communities both locally and globally give you the opportunity to see how educational policy and practice play out in different settings.

At Goldsmiths you can:

  • Be part of one the largest departments within Goldsmiths and a diverse student body that informs teaching and research 
  • Explore a whole range of subjects from social justice and inclusion to the arts and learning
  • Take your degree into many fields from the charity sector to an international NGO or go abroad and work within research institutions across the world
  • Discuss, debate and bring your own experience to bear on educational research
  • See how education can shape everything from individual identity to a community’s development of language
  • Go on to teacher training through our different routes into primary and secondary teaching including PGCE programmes

Facilities

The Educational Studies Building offers a wide range of seminar and larger teaching rooms designed for flexibility and practical work, and two IT/ICT suites with state-of-the-art computer equipment. There are also studios, workshops, and laboratories to support practice-based courses.


Find out more about Goldsmiths

Student and graduate profiles

Beth

Graduated with a degree from the Department of Education

"The creative and questioning attitude which runs through the veins of Goldsmiths has helped me with everything"

After graduating I worked as a teacher in various nursery schools in London and Sheffield, and as an Early Years Specialist in Barnsley. I am currently home educating my children, and run a business as a Zumba Instructor. I wanted to say thank you Goldsmiths, you have shaped who I am, and also, most importantly, who I am to become. The creative and questioning attitude which runs through the veins of Goldsmiths has helped me with everything. That, and I got a great degree, amazing friends, husband and awesome career from it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Deqa

"I have found the content stimulating, the staff very supportive and university’s general atmosphere welcoming."

As I approached the end of my A-levels, I knew that I wanted carrying on without a break to higher education so to not be distracted from my vision of eventually becoming a teacher. Consequently, I scanned the prospectuses of a range of universities, looking through various courses to do with teaching as well as degrees involving English as I also had a half-hearted desire to maybe take English and thereafter qualify as an English teacher at secondary school level.

However, as I looked through what Goldsmiths had to offer in its Educational Studies Department, Education Culture and Society caught my eye and immediately captured my imagination. What I liked mainly about the course from reading its description was its unique touch of creativity and its multi-dimensional approach in analysing the role of education in diverse societies, one that is under inevitable continuity and change. The fact that I would be guaranteed an interview for the university’s renowned PGCE primary course after having completed the course also appealed to me.

Now approaching the end of my second year I can gladly say that I have made the right decision by choosing ECS at Goldsmiths as I have found the content stimulating, the staff very supportive and university’s general atmosphere welcoming.

Morgane

"Goldsmiths is a vibrant, diverse and open-minded place to study."

As a mature student, returning to education after many years working in the childcare sector, I firstly completed an ‘Access to Education’ course in order to prepare myself for higher education. When reading about the ECS course, I remember being so enthusiastic as it seemed to be exactly what I had yearned to investigate when deciding to study education. Now in the last year of the course, I am convinced that I have made the right choice!

Being part of ECS has been an incredible experience and the course has assisted me to grasp complex concepts and theories which I had frequently questioned in my work experience. The course has been a great combination of personal development and academic challenges. All the units have been thought provoking and have taught me to be more analytical and critical on various subjects related to society’s sensitive issues such as identity, ‘race’ and cultural diversity.

Goldsmiths is a vibrant, diverse and open-minded place to study. The lecturers are highly knowledgeable and are very approachable and supportive. Students are encouraged to think creatively and to develop individual originality, in order to become strong individuals able to take part positively in society’s education.

Aysel

Now she's graduated, Aysel is going to study PGCE Maths here at Goldsmiths

"I really enjoyed the diversity of the people on my course, and the fact I got a First! My advice to people thinking of studying would be, don't be afraid to ask for help. The three words I would use to describe Goldsmiths are diverse, fun and professional"

Grant

"Goldsmiths makes learning exciting again."

I was born in Nigeria, grew up in Germany and I am now living in London studying Education, Culture and Society at Goldsmiths. I was fortunate to have experienced and seen how people live by different means and different societies, which has defined me as a person. I was looking for a course that would complement these aspects of myself and help me understand other cultures.

Coming to Goldsmiths I noticed very quickly that no student is the same and therefore I never felt alienated in any way. I found the beauty in the diversity of students that I have met and was amazed at how much I have learned from my peers, as everyone had a different story to tell.

Lectures for ECS are very interesting and not typical, as we are encouraged to engage in discussions and learn from each other. The diverse structure of the course has been very beneficial for me, as it touches on various topics that are very relevant and encourages you to strive for your own individuality. Goldsmiths is a colourful place to be and makes learning exciting again.

Anh 

"Goldsmiths is socially, culturally and linguistically diverse; knowledge and experiences are discussed and shared."

I found out about Goldsmiths by researching the prospectuses of various universities and attending their open days. This gave me an insight into the undergraduate programmes available and I made the choice to study at Goldsmiths. I was fascinated by the content of the course and chose Goldsmiths because it has established a fair assessment method. Goldsmiths is socially, culturally and linguistically diverse; knowledge and experiences are discussed and shared. After I completed my access to primary education course at Lewisham College I was offered a place at Goldsmiths.

The BA in Education, Culture and Society is a flexible course. I can balance my study, work and social life. The content of the course is interesting. It provides the opportunity to explore and share my culture and identity with others and to learn and share the culture and identity of my peers. Moreover, I have the opportunity to learn how young children learn, develop and acquire knowledge in the home and at school, which I find fascinating.

Lucky

BA Education, Culture & Society (graduated 2010, now studying PGCE (Primary)

"When I first visited Goldsmiths, it felt 'right'."

I studied for my first degree at Goldsmiths and thoroughly enjoyed it; the staff were probably the most helpful and caring lecturers. They took all aspects of a student's life into consideration and helped me with targeting my weaknesses when it came to assignments and exams.

I chose to attend Goldsmiths because it is renowned for its creativity and the Educational Studies Department is well respected. When I first visited Goldsmiths, it felt ‘right’; I felt comfortable as I could see all around me that the university was very diverse.

There are many skills that I have acquired whilst studying at Goldsmiths, one of the most important ones for me is learning to be an independently confident learner.

Angela

"After reading about the content of the programme, the facilities available, and the wide variety of career possibilities, I knew that Goldsmiths could offer me exactly what I wanted."

Having previously worked as an NVQ assessor, my interest and experience in working with children and young people led me to apply for a higher education course in this area. I researched my choice of degree as well as the university thoroughly. The process of applying as a full-time mature student was an important life and career decision for me. However, after reading about the content of the programme, the facilities available, and the wide variety of career possibilities, I knew that Goldsmiths could offer me exactly what I wanted – and I can confirm I have not been disappointed.

The degree equips you with an understanding about education and its role in a diverse society. It's a programme that is unquestionably designed for ‘changing times’, and with students who are from a range of age groups, various cultures and diverse backgrounds, you find yourself learning something new constantly, within a stimulating and professional environment.

My experience at university has had a positive impact in my life, which led me to recently take on the role of Departmental Student Coordinator for the Educational Studies Department. This role allows me to represent the views of students, so they have the finest quality of learning and overall experience that I have had whilst at university.

Nathan

"It’s not just about education and educational policies; it is about how culture, creativity and identity play a role in people's education."

I went down the conventional route of doing my A-levels and applying for university during my last year of sixth form. However, after I applied to do English at several universities I had a change of heart. I heard about the Education, Culture and Society course through a friend. After reading the course description I decided to take a chance and apply. I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

What I like about the course is that it is varied in every way. It’s not just about education and educational policies; it is about how culture, creativity and identity play a role in people's education. The course doesn’t revolve around lectures; we spend a lot of time engaging in discussions, allowing us to learn from each other’s differing experiences.

Goldsmiths as a whole is a fantastic place to study, with excellent facilities. The atmosphere is laid back and friendly and there is a diverse mix of students of all ages. Tutors and lecturers offer lots of support and help and are approachable. Goldsmiths is committed to maintaining high standards that benefit all students.

Claire

BA Education, Culture & Society (graduated 2010, now studying PGCE (Primary)

"I was drawn to do my undergraduate degree at Goldsmiths because of the diverse cultural demographic at Goldsmiths and also the Goldsmiths philosophy of promoting creative and innovative thinking."

Before coming to university, I had experienced a range of working environments; from supporting in a classroom, to human resources in the city, however I always knew that at some point I would like to go to university. I felt that it was important for me to take time out after having completed A-levels to assess what and where I wanted to study.

After taking three years out of education, I was drawn to do my undergraduate degree at Goldsmiths because of the diverse cultural demographic at Goldsmiths and also the Goldsmiths philosophy of promoting creative and innovative thinking, regardless of department. I chose to study Education, Culture and Society because although I knew I wanted to teach, I also wanted to be able to have a deeper understanding of the philosophical, historical and sociological aspects of schooling and education. Goldsmiths was the only university that was able to offer that particular mix of disciplines.

I found Goldsmiths to be a dynamic and inclusive place to study. The staff in my department, and within the wider community of the College, were supportive and motivating, going out of their way to provide interesting and informative lectures and seminars to support our learning. After having completed my undergraduate degree, it was an easy decision for me to continue my postgraduate studies at Goldsmiths.

I am currently training to be a primary school teacher. Having just finished my first placement, coming back to Goldsmiths for lectures felt like coming home. Once qualified, I hope to teach in the local area and to be able to continue to promote a love for learning that Goldsmiths has instilled in me.

Tom

"Throughout my three years on the Education, Culture and Society programme I experienced both a personal and intellectual journey."

Studying in the Department of Educational Studies you're not only introduced to a huge and diverse range of subjects, you're positioned right at the heart of a department that encourages you to get involved with all aspects of education and follow the areas of education that interest you.

Throughout my three years on the Education, Culture and Society programme I experienced both a personal and intellectual journey. Starting with a foundation in the psychological and pedagogical aspects of education, my studies went on to explore critical education policy, global issues in education, and I also had the opportunity to do a module in art practice where our group put on a public art exhibition.

Having a degree in Education from Goldsmiths offers a wealth of opportunity. Since leaving I have been fortunate to join a Masters course in museum and gallery studies and I'm also working part time as a project manager on one of the key events for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Grace

"I am very grateful to all the lecturers on the course who made it possible for me to pursue my career goals."

I am a graduate from the BA Education, Culture & Society (ECS) course. I have always been passionate about children and young people. While studying on ECS, I worked for Youth Services in a London borough on a part-time basis as a youth worker. At present I work as project co-ordinator for a company who are a service provider for young people at risk who are not in education, employment or training. In addition to this role, I also act as personal adviser to young people attending our courses, assisting them with employment information, advice and guidance.

I hope to return to university this coming academic year to pursue a Masters degree in social work. In the future, I hope to become a fully qualified social worker in the Children’s and Young People’s department of a local authority. I am very grateful to all the lecturers on the course who made it possible for me to pursue my career goals.

Adam

"I'd recommend the degree to anyone with an interest in education and who thinks that the present system of education in the UK isn't quite as it should be."

Although my choice of degree was quite a practical, career-focussed one, Goldsmiths has also encouraged me to engage with my more creative side – research and essays are necessary and also enjoyable in their own way, but to have a studio space available to me has been invaluable to my enjoyment of the course.

The degree is exhilarating and subversive, and I'd recommend it to anyone with an interest in education and who thinks that the present system of education in the UK isn't quite as it should be. The modules are carefully linked together, allowing for the subject matter to become wonderfully textured and stimulating, and I know that all the other students would agree with me.

Being a first year I'm keeping my options open, but my aim is to work in education policy – saying that though, there's also a chance I might end up becoming an artist. Either way, I'll probably spend the second and third year bugging the careers service about it.  

I found out about the Access Scholarship by scouring the Goldsmiths website for further information about the course, which I would definitely recommend given that the course you choose will be one of the most important choices you'll ever make. If you apply, be honest about what you want from Goldsmiths. Whatever you're interested in, mention that you might like to get involved in that capacity, whether it's writing for the magazine or newspaper, the LGBT society, the debating society, sports. I would also recommend that you don't sit on your laurels if you've already gained the entry requirements, instead go for distinctions between now and the end of the course, think about obtaining some of the books from your chosen BA's reading list, and try to avoid typos!


Content last modified: 09 Jan 2014

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